Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Ignorant Electorate: A Danger to Democracy

A population with low intellect may not be capable of making beneficial decisions. They argue that the lack of rationality or even education is being taken advantage of by politicians, who compete more in the way of public relations and tactics, than in ideology. While arguments against democracy are often taken by advocates of democracy as an attempt to maintain or revive traditional hierarchy in order to justify autocratic rule...

- Keith Richburg, Head to Head, African democracy, 2008.

When a people are presented with more than a dozen candidates from diverse backgrounds, track records and political party affiliation and yet make the election one between the devil and the deep blue sea, then they have only themselves to blame. This is not just about Wada/Audu (Kogi 2015). Several others voted drug barons and failed governors to represent them in the senate, past and present.

Until the electorate is enlightened and made to understand the real reasons for voting and what politicians are supposed to do for them, they shall continue to vote in the most benevolent thieves and incompetents and not necessarily the ones with either proven (good) track records or with noble intentions.

The voter must be made aware that by that singular act of selecting a candidate via the ballot, they have been offered a chance to determine the positive or negative outcome of the next four years of government intervention in their lives. They must also be mature enough to live with the consequences while basing their next voting attempt on the lessons learned from the last one.
To grow our democracy to where the impact will be felt in governance and national development, agencies charged with national orientation must make voter education an utmost priority.
An ignorant electorate is the Achilles heel of democracy.


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